Bill Bigelow

Who Makes History?

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. 3 pages.
This lesson introduces students to Bertolt Brecht’s poem, A Worker Reads History. Students reflect on the creative role of workers in making history.
Teaching Activity by Norm Diamond
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What Rights Do We Have?

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. 7 pages.
This lesson teaches some of the nuts and bolts of labor unions and then moves beyond to ask students to consider what rights they have at work, and to recognize that “rights” depend in large part on what people have fought for and won.
Teaching Activity by Norm Diamond
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Labor Songs

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. 7 pages.
Students explore the power of songs to build solidarity and increase understanding. This is the final activity from Bigelow and Diamond’s labor history book, The Power in Our Hands, and draws on the other lessons.
Teaching Activity by Norm Diamond
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Paper Airplane Simulation

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. 4 pages.
In this simulation, students make paper airplanes to learn about the origins and effects of “scientific management”—owners’ attempt to capture workers’ skills and knowledge, and then to exploit that knowledge to reorganize work and cut costs by deskilling workers.
Teaching Activity by Norm Diamond
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Rethinking Columbus Banned in Tucson

By Bill Bigelow Imagine our surprise. Rethinking Schools learned today that for the first time in its more-than-20-year history, our book Rethinking Columbus was banned by a school district: Tucson, Arizona. According to journalist Jeff Biggers, officials with the Tucson Unified School District ordered that teachers pull the book from their classrooms, evidently as an outcome of the school board’s 4-1 vote this week to abolish the Mexican American Studies program.
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Apalachicola River | Zinn Education Project

The Color Line

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 6 pages.
A lesson on the countless colonial laws enacted to create division and inequality based on race. This helps students understand the origins of racism in the United States and who benefits.
Teaching Activity by Bill Bigelow
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Modern Times

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond.
This lesson uses Charlie Chaplin’s hilarious classic film, Modern Times, to help students think about the impact of “scientific management” on the workplace.
Teaching Activity by Norm Diamond
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The Lorax: Dr. Seuss Revisited and Revised

With the release of the Universal Pictures film, The Lorax, based on Dr. Seuss’s classic “environmental” book of the same name, we share an article by Bill Bigelow about the lessons children learn (and don’t learn) from the book and film about the causes of environmental ruin and how to organize for change.
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